March 06, 2013

Corker: Waste Detailed in Final Audit of Iraq Reconstruction Funds Demonstrates Need for Top-to-Bottom Review of State Department and U.S. Foreign Aid Programs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today said the final report on U.S. reconstruction funds in Iraq demonstrates the need for a top-to-bottom review of the State Department and U.S. foreign assistance programs to ensure taxpayer dollars are used to advance U.S. interests.  The final report from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen captures lessons learned and details the extent of waste, fraud and abuse within the $60 billion of U.S. funds spent on Iraq reconstruction over 10 years.

“The extent of waste and abuse in the $60 billion of Iraq reconstruction funds coupled with the instability still evident in Iraq is appalling and highlights real failures of planning and execution that must be corrected to make U.S. foreign assistance a more effective tool for advancing the national interests of our country.  At the same time, this final Iraq reconstruction report also highlights some approaches that worked and could be applied to future reconstruction efforts, especially the billions of dollars in remaining reconstruction funds for Afghanistan,” Corker said.  “Going forward, I am committed to working with the State Department, USAID, and the administration, to provide the kind of accountability and oversight the American people deserve.  We owe this not only to the American taxpayers, but also to the men and women – civilian and uniformed – that we send into dangerous and challenging environments to secure the area and implement U.S. programs.”